Leaving Kolkata behind during the Durga Pujo, we were planning to go somewhere in Sikkim where we could quietly enjoy the nature at its best with our own adda and authentic Sikkimese food. Then came the idea of visiting a beautiful homestay in West Sikkim by one of our friends.
We planned for a 2 night stay at Hitaishi Homestay, at Hee Bermiok, Martam, which is in West Sikkim around 135 kms away from NJP station, on the Jorethang route. Due to our train delay, and our lunch stop enroute, it so happened that we reached Hitaishi at around 6’o clock in the evening. It was dark by then and it was raining outside, and little did we know that along with so much luggage and a torch in our hand we would have to manage to walk about 200 mts to reach our homestay. It got a little difficult for all of us, trying to climb and walk on the slippery stone and mud filled pathway. Nonetheless, we managed to be there somehow and soon all our tiredness was gone after getting an overwhelming welcome from the homestay owner Gawri Chhetri who very sweetly greeted all of us with Sikkimese uttorans [silk scarves ]
A lovely sitting room on the ground floor decorated with local silk cushions, wall hangings and some unique Sikkimese antique pieces soon drew our attention. A hot cup of tea and Phulaurah, a local Sikkimese fried snack made out of Buckwheat powder was served to us. We had a chat with Gawri regarding her family, her wonderful property and then she showed us our rooms on the first floor which had a long balcony facing the valley and the mountains. It was absolute quiet all around, and we could only hear the sound of the raindrops around us. After a while, we were served home – made roti-sabzi and chicken curry for dinner. It was pretty cold then as it had rained the whole day and after having the fresh, hot food we were all ready to call it a night.
We woke up early next morning to enjoy the beauty of the mountain valley right from our balcony, enjoying a cup of hot clove-flavored black tea.
Gawri and her other family members then called us for breakfast where we got to taste the Sael Roti [ a Nepali style deep fried rice paste dish ] served with potato curry.
Later during the day, we went for a walk down the hills just to get some more fresh air and to see few nearby waterfalls. On our return, while having lunch, Gawri told us that in the evening she will give us Chang [ local millet wine ] , and some fried snacks prepared at home. Obviously we all got excited and eagerly waited for the dusk to set it in. The evening mood got perfect with Chang in our hands, snacks to munch on and some horror stories that we shared sitting in our lovely balcony.
The next morning we were leaving, but our hearts were heavy with the thought that we would be missing the relaxed, homely atmosphere of Hitaishi and the warmth that Gawri showed to us during our entire stay.